Postgraduate Programmes

Research Focus Areas in the Department of Psychology

(Please note that this information is subject to change)

Academics in our department conduct and supervise a wide range of research projects, most of which relate to five broad themes. These themes are linked to UNISA’s niche areas and are described below.

        1.  UNISA Research Niche Areas

      2.  Departmental Research Focus Areas

Theme 1

Theme 2

Theme 3

Theme 4

Theme 5

Mental health

Decoloniality

Social justice and inclusion

Open distance e-learning (ODeL)

 Social Psychology and Environmental Psychology

The department's research focus is conceptualised under these five themes. The research conducted in the department may fall under one or across all five themes.

Theme one: Mental Health

  • Student wellness in the context of current South African and global realities
  • Employee wellness in the context of current South African and global realities
  • Community wellness and resilience in the context of current South African and global realities
  • Therapeutic contexts and lived experiences
  • Health, wellbeing and developmental psychology
  • Integration of mind, body and spirit
  • Forensic psychology
  • Emergency services


Theme 2: Decoloniality

  • African psychologies
  • Indigenous epistemologies
  • Decolonisation using indigenous language
  • Coloniality in naming practices
  • Gender through a decolonial lens
  • Decolonial feminism


Theme 3: Social justice and inclusion

  • Prevalence and psychosocial impact of hate crimes
  • Feminist voices
  • The psychology of sexuality and gender in Africa
  • Advancement of LGBTI+ health and well-being
  • Affirmative of LGBTI+ psychological practices
  • Corrections and incarceration
  • Crime and violence prevention/ trauma intervention
  • Diversity and social transformation


Theme 4: Open distance e-learning (ODeL)

  • Teaching and learning
  • Teaching and learning of psychological research
  • Higher education
  • Distance education
  • Open distance e-learning
  • Students as knowledge producers

Theme 5: Social Psychology and Environmental Psychology

  • Social, racial and gender issues
  • Relationships between individuals and social groups
  • Personal and social identities
  • Cognitive representations of social categories
  • Intergroup attitudes, emotions and behaviour in social change situations
  • Interpersonal and intergroup communication
  • Human-induced climate change

      3.   M & D supervision

For more information on postgraduate supervision see the 2022 prospective M and D student psychology brochure.

Revised by the departmental research team on 01/09/2021

Last modified: 2021/10/15